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Corporate Governance and Value Creation: Evidence from Private Equity

  • Acharya, Viral V
  • Hahn, Moritz
  • Kehoe, Conor

We examine deal-level data on private equity transactions in the UK initiated during the period 1996 to 2004 by mature private equity houses. We un-lever the deal-level equity return and adjust for (un-levered) return to quoted peers to extract a measure of "alpha" or abnormal performance of the deal. The alpha is significantly positive on average and robust during sector downturns. In the cross-section of deals, higher alpha is related to greater improvement in EBITDA to Sales ratio (margin) and greater growth in EBITDA multiple during the private phase, relative to that of quoted peers. In particular, deals with higher alpha either grow their margins more substantially, and/or grow multiples more substantially, whilst expanding their revenues only in line with the sector. Based on interviews with general partners involved with the deals, we find that deals with higher alpha and higher margin growth are associated with greater intensity of engagement of private equity houses during the early phase of the deal, employment of value-creation initiatives for productivity and organic growth, and complementing top management with external support. Overall, our results are consistent with mature private equity houses creating value for portfolio companies through active ownership and governance.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7242.

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Date of creation: Mar 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7242
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  1. Steven N. Kaplan & Antoinette Schoar, 2005. "Private Equity Performance: Returns, Persistence, and Capital Flows," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 60(4), pages 1791-1823, 08.
  2. Phillip Leslie & Paul Oyer, 2008. "Managerial Incentives and Value Creation: Evidence from Private Equity," NBER Working Papers 14331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Josh Lerner & Antoinette Schoar & Wan Wong, 2005. "Smart Institutions, Foolish Choices? The Limited Partner Performance Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 11136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Lerner, Joshua & Schoar, Antoinette, 2003. "The Illiquidity Puzzle: Theory and Evidence from Private Equity," Working papers 4378-02, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  5. Steven N. Kaplan & Per Stromberg, 2009. "Leveraged Buyouts and Private Equity," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(1), pages 121-46, Winter.
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  7. Jerry Cao & Josh Lerner, 2006. "The Performance of Reverse Leveraged Buyouts," NBER Working Papers 12626, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kevin Amess & Mike Wright, 2012. "Leveraged buyouts, private equity and jobs," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 38(4), pages 419-430, May.
  9. Frank R. Lichtenberg & Donald Siegel, 1989. "The Effects of Leveraged Buyouts on Productivity and Related Aspects of Firm Behavior," NBER Working Papers 3022, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Kevin Amess & Mike Wright, 2007. "The Wage and Employment Effects of Leveraged Buyouts in the UK," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 179-195.
  11. Carhart, Mark M, 1997. " On Persistence in Mutual Fund Performance," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 52(1), pages 57-82, March.
  12. Palepu, Krishna G., 1990. "Consequences of leveraged buyouts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 247-262, September.
  13. Viral V. Acharya & Julian Franks & Henri Servaes, 2007. "Private Equity: Boom and Bust?," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 19(4), pages 44-53.
  14. Kaplan, Steven, 1989. "The effects of management buyouts on operating performance and value," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 217-254.
  15. Smith, Abbie J., 1990. "Corporate ownership structure and performance *1: The case of management buyouts," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 143-164, September.
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